Of all brewing techniques, it hard hard to not think of an easier method to produce a fine, tasty beverage such as apple cider. Sure, it can be a great art form that includes fresh pressed apples of a chosen variety.
But, it works quite well if we buy pure apple juice ‘not from concentrate’, dump it into a carboy, add yeast nutrient and add hydrated yeast. We can make cider with concentrated apple juice, as long it only contains apple juice from concentrate, water and absorbic acid.
To kickstart the brewing cycle, it takes all of of 1/2hr to convert apple juice at a sale price of $0.99 into a dry apple cider that costs over $5/litre in the store.
For brewers of beer, making hard apple cider with cartons of apple juice is a very simple transition because unlike cider making from store-bought juice, making beer from kits, extract and especially all-grain requires time and effort.
After we pour the apple juice and add yeast nutrient into our carboy, we can add various varieties of yeast; such as ec-1118, safale us-04, or cider yeasts from our local home brew supply shop.
EC-1118 makes a dry cider and is dirt cheap. We can find it well under $1/pack. If we use ec-1118, we just need to leave enough room in the carboy for the foamy layer on top during early fermentation. Or, we can use a blow-off if it overflows out the airlock.
Most yeasts for cider work fine at room temperature.
After 2-3 weeks of fermentation, we can bottle the cider. One method is to use 1/3-1/2 cup of dextrose per 3 gallons for carbonation.
After bottling, we just leave the bottled beverages at room temperature for another 2 weeks, followed by cool/cold storage. We can drink it after conditioning it for 2 weeks.